A Tale of Two Great States
By Guy Shepherd

Some states do better than others, but Texas and Florida do much better than most. Here's why:

A Tale of Two Great States


Some people think America's the land of opportunity.

And they're right — if they chose the states that understand what "opportunity" really means.

I love the ”don’t mess with Texas” slogan.

What I like most is the reality of it.   Texas is a good state.   An admirable state.   A state with an economy that is running neck-and-neck with Italy and Russia.

If the contest is mano y mano, I’ll blind-bet on the Texan every time — not only against the Italians and the Russians — but the rest of us as well.

And the best thing you say about Texas is the flavor of women they create.  The women are real—and real pretty.

Hey, tough guys, I am a guy from a place that doesn’t mind challenges to manliness. However, The Bronx, Compton, South Boston are urban neighborhoods of men.  Texas is a state with a country punch.

This is certainly not true of all Texans.  But it is true of most of them.  And whatever else you might be able to say about Austin, it’s Joe Rogan’s newly adopted home.  And certainly, “Don’t mess with Joe Rogan.”

And the best thing you say about Texas is the flavor of women they create.  The women are real—and real pretty.

American men and women come in regional flavors, but Texas women are standout.  If you like the idea of an American women,  you can’t help but want to mess with Texas women—respectfully of course.

I say all this as a recent transplant to the “sunshine state” of Florida — another state, where the future is happening.  Moving trucks come to Florida and leave empty.

Florida too is “hated” as Texas is hated, by those who” ain’t us.”

I think Florida needs a more deserving moniker than “Sunshine State”. Yes, it’s true: Florida has sunshine.  The sun looks like an orange, which is a branding twofer.  If you are having a Mimosa in New York, the orange float in your champagne is probably comes from Florida.

However, what’s causing the sucking sound out of everywhere else and into Florida is more than our weather—which by the way is awesome.

Let me quickly count the big reasons:

Florida has no state income tax.  However, we are not alone in this regard.  Out of 50 states that make up the American pluribus, there are 9 states with no income tax — and for some strange reason all are experiencing population growth.

Another, more immediate reason, is that Florida doesn’t like being messed with, either.  The best advertisement for Florida is that that it’s an open-for-business and pursuit-of-happiness state.

If one thing became clear over the last couple of years, it’s the way that all states (and the folks who populate and set the tone, tenor, and policy of states) approach the four letters on which the survival of the species rests: RISK.

The moment Florida got a handle on the profile of this disease, it steadily opened up.  Doctors are not good at calibrating risk.  And not all politicians are up to it either. Calibrating risk is a rational tango dance with necessity.

Calibrating risk is a rational tango dance with necessity.

Maybe the explanation is simple. States that that have a direct draw on the income of its citizens—and those that don’t—have different incentives.  A state that feeds itself through property and sales taxes only is incentivized to do all it can do to manage risks and stay open.

My buddy “The Manager” recently opened a restaurant in Florida.   If you find yourself down in Palm Beach, check it out and drop my name.  Opening a restaurant during a pandemic — what could go wrong? My brother in Massachusetts is a partner in a restaurant group that has 10 locations and few hundred employees.  He is in a constant struggle with state and local authorities to reopen what he has.  And then there are state incentives that are keeping his labor market on the sidelines.

None of this here in sunny Florida.  In shocking contrast, two days after my buddy applied for his liquor license he was met with by an apologetic civil servant. “Sorry, sir we try to get back applicant within in a day.  We don’t want to be an obstacle to a business that feeds families.” Say what?

When my masked (“show us your passports”) friends from up North would shake their heads in settled-science disbelief at Florida’s pursuit of opening its economy, schools, and the pursuit of happiness, I would say:  Florida is the “Live free and maybe die” state.  I think this should be our motto.  Another is “Open for Business and Life.”

With regards to the men and women our sunshine clime, we draw from the best from the rest.   We have cowboys, energy workers and the place is brimming with folks living the earned success of life.  And while “Florida man” is a derisive meme, I would not mess with him either.  Plus, the women here are in the Miss (and Mrs.) Universe constellation of beauty.   I can’t vouch that they are all natural, but they do stand up. My son, RyGuy, is in the prime of his life and having the time of his life.

To those who “ain’t us,” feel free join our way of life.  Even better: build back your own states better by following our example.  It’s getting crowded down here.

To reach Guy Shepherd contact: [email protected]

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